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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Force file download

    I write a lot of custom Excel applications (meaning they have VBA code embedded in them) and I find that no matter how much I write warnings, instructions, whatever in red all over the page to tell users to download them to their desktop, I always get a group of people who can't read and then complain when the application doesn't work. (VBA enabled Excel files rarely run well from w/in the browser). <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23>

    Is there any way I can stop a browser from giving the user the choice of Open/Save when they click a link that to a .xls file? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but want to ask some experts about this. I'm sure the browser thinks it's helping the user by knowing the .xls extension can be opened with Excel (as it does with so many other files) but it can be very annoying and most users just click and go, never even noticing that they have an option (or what the difference is between the choices Open vs. Save).

    Are there alternative ways to let people download this file like from a form they have to fill out? I don't want them to have to email me to request it, however.

    Thnx, Deb

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Force file download

    The trick to doing this lies within the HTTP headers. Try Leif's post which contains a link to this page explaining the technique. There has also been previous discussion on this in the Lounge, so hopefully you will find a suitable answer in one of those threads.
    -Mark

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Force file download

    Thank you for the links, I'll review them later this week. This is for an internal site (meaning accessible to employees only) at work so the web masters may not be willing to do anything that's not standard (their definition of what's standard for my employer, that is). I may just zip files instead as one of the posts mentioned. It's one more step but if people can't be bothered to read, then that's the way it is.

    Originally, the warning to download the files first wasn't in red text, but I changed it to red after one person complained that she didn't see it. Now it's red, but she still just opens the files in IE - I saw her do it just the other day and I immediately pointed it out to her. Some people are just hopeless <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    Thnx,
    Deb

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